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bs kite
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · COOLSCAN V ED


For scanning my Kodachromes, I now have hopes for ColorPerfect's Photoshop plugin for Mac.

Vuescan is rendering scans in about 45 seconds. For me, that is acceptable.

The trouble is that the colors are most often not near the original and the color preference options in Vuescan are not acceptable for Kodachrome ... not even close. I do have a small number of Fujichromes and the colors of those rendered by Vuescan are acceptable. It is the colors of the Kodachromes that are a problem now.

BUT........the link of the ColorPerfect video you provided does look like it may have what I need. Thank you.

I just sent ColorPerfect an email. I asked them for a candid answer:

Does ColorPerfect render perfect colors for Kodachromes? Or is ColorPerfect designed for color negative and b/w films. I really need a candid answer from them.

It is frustrating to deal with various "renditions" of color that scanning software providers feel it is ok to attach to their product.

My film images are Kodachromes.

I must be able to produce scans that render the colors of Kodachrome slides just as the colors were when the slides were delivered to me from the Kodak lab back in the 70's and 80's.

There is no fading here; i.e. these slides have been in a dim, dry environment and are just as good as when they were new.

The problem now ........... is that the scanning designers "invent" color schemes that are grossly inaccurate.

I hope that ColorPerfect holds what I now need to finally do accurate scans of my Kodachrome slides. The 45 seconds per slide should not be an issue, because I will do only the highest priority ones at first for a current project.

At this point, I need high confidence that the colors from these Kodachrome slides will look as they did when they arrived from the lab.

Thank you so much for your inputs.

Robert





Aug 14, 2017 at 11:09 AM
melcat
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · COOLSCAN V ED


bs kite wrote:
The trouble is that the colors are most often not near the original and the color preference options in Vuescan are not acceptable for Kodachrome ... not even close.


I think the program's philosophy in "Slide" mode is to go for full-process accuracy. That is, if you take a picture of a test target using Kodachrome and scan that, the results match the test target. If you wanted to do this yourself, you could do it using a commercial "IT8" test target. But the problem is of course, Kodachome is no more and only a fixed number of these test targets were ever made, and they go for hundreds of dollars on eBay. I chose not to pay that. My guess is Hamrick snagged one, because Vuescan is pretty close. After scanning in "Slide" mode with "Kodachrome", I applied some tweaks using Photoshop's levels: red gamma 1.1 and blue gamma 0.8. The above scan was probably done that way.

Because I never liked the Kodachrome 64 colours, that was how I scanned all of them.

However, I *did* like the Kodachome 25 colours and wanted to preserve those, which is what you want to do with your Kodachrome 64. And the way to do that in Vuescan is to change the mode from "Slide" to "Image" - that is, keep it as it is and don't try to correct the colours. For Kodachrome 25 I set gain R: 3.8, G: 3.4 and B: 3.4. and in the colour correction tab set R: 1, G: 0.97, and B: 0.88. You csn use that as a starting point for Kodachrome 64, which has, for example, less rich yellows.

Finally, Kodachromes *can* go off if the processing wasn't quite right. The New York lab, which I'm guessing is the one you used, was said to be good. I have lots of magenta ones from another lab.



Aug 14, 2017 at 12:29 PM
designdog
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · COOLSCAN V ED


This process requires much experimentation, and a good knowledge of Photoshop. I found the best results with VueScan (as a "raw" file) and ColorPerfect. Then I would open the file with the Camera Raw filter to make some tonal changes. I would then work on the grain with Neat Image. Finally, I sharpened with Photokit.

All of my work was with color positive film and the Coolscan V ED. For black and white I found scanning with the Epson v800 and using Epson software was best (go figure).

I sent what little negative film I shot out to be processed and scanned.



Aug 14, 2017 at 05:50 PM
mikeengles
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · COOLSCAN V ED


Hello
Kodachrome is really the most difficult slide medium to scan.
It really was pretty difficult to make Cibachromes from also.
Nikonscan was pretty good. Sadly I have deleted it from my backups as I sold my Coolscan a few years ago.
This link might help
https://www.nikonimgsupport.com/na/NSG_article?articleNo=000026780&configured=1&lang=en_SG
You might have to fiddle about with compatibility modes in Windows 10.
MDE



Aug 14, 2017 at 06:57 PM
bs kite
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · COOLSCAN V ED


Rendering a Kodachrome scan that has correct colors should not be this complex

In this thread, there have been several solutions or remedies offered. i do appreciate the input.

But the solution should be available at a click of a button in Vuescan.

The apparent truth is that it is not that simple .... possibly not even available.

ColorPerfect has not responded to my email yet. Still waiting.

If this software cannot render scans of my Kodachromes that are close to the original, then I have wasted the money.

You know, it is not really the $89 that bothers me. And the price is reasonable or sure. But in the promo, nothing was mentioned about Kodachrome colors being so difficult. Although it is a huge problem yet unsolved...nothing was mentioned by Mr. Hamrick.

In the end, I still have hundreds of Kodachromes that will still not be properly scanned. I would love to put this behind me once and for all. When Fujichrome came out I should have switched completely

Robert King
https://itsaboutnature.smugmug.com



Aug 15, 2017 at 02:05 AM
AnnJS
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · COOLSCAN V ED


SilverFast is not cheap but I can confirm that it does produce excellent scans; and it does exceptionally well when coping with the orange Mask in colour negatives.

The original NikonScan only works on old pre-Intel Macs but it may still work on Windows machines?

These photographs were all scanned from color negs with SilverFast:
https://www.nikoncafe.com/threads/paradise-lost-jiuzhaigou.305881/#post-3897063






Aug 15, 2017 at 05:01 AM
melcat
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · COOLSCAN V ED


bs kite wrote:
If this software cannot render scans of my Kodachromes that are close to the original, then I have wasted the money.


It can, and I gave detailed instructions three posts up from yours how to do that. Did you even read my post? I spent several minutes finding back my notes so I could give exact numbers to type into the dialogue boxes.

Hamrick's documentation could be better, but you could have looked at it to check its adequacy before paying the $89. He does cover the difference between "Slide" and "Image" on this page, under the subheading "Input | Media".

But the solution should be available at a click of a button in Vuescan.

It's not going to be in any scanning software. The software can't know what kind of film you've loaded into it (the film code is outside the scan area, and maybe under the mount) and it can't know whether you want accurate colours or Kodachrome colours. You have to tell it.

And, given that, setting another half dozen values doesn't seem a big ask.

Why don't you try a test scan?



Aug 15, 2017 at 08:33 AM
artificialyello
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · COOLSCAN V ED


I didn't notice that this was crossposted to the Nikon forum, which explains a lot... I've posted a sample scan using Vuescan here. With some workflow notes:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1504227

No Nikon gear involved though...



Aug 15, 2017 at 10:05 AM
sjms
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · COOLSCAN V ED


Kodachrome is not the same as other slide films so yes it is a little "different" to scan.

on the color tab of Vuescan do you have this setup?







Aug 15, 2017 at 11:51 AM
Michael White
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · COOLSCAN V ED


I switched to Mac also and have a Nikon scanner either the 4000 or iv I don't recall and it is put away at the present time I have a few slides but thousands or negatives to scan eventually and I would like to use the Nikon over my epson flatbed for that purpose so if you find a drive for the Mac please let me know as I plan on importing directly to Lightroom like shooting tethered if possible


Aug 15, 2017 at 12:24 PM
 

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sjms
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · COOLSCAN V ED


the 4000ED requires a firewire 400 port to begin with.


Aug 15, 2017 at 01:01 PM
bs kite
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · COOLSCAN V ED


melcat wrote:
I think the program's philosophy in "Slide" mode is to go for full-process accuracy. That is, if you take a picture of a test target using Kodachrome and scan that, the results match the test target. If you wanted to do this yourself, you could do it using a commercial "IT8" test target. But the problem is of course, Kodachome is no more and only a fixed number of these test targets were ever made, and they go for hundreds of dollars on eBay. I chose not to pay that. My guess is Hamrick snagged one, because Vuescan is pretty
...Show more

1. The test target is a moot point because it is not available. Nor is Kodachrome. I am not doing that.

2. I did check off Kodachrome as I was setting up Vuescan.

3. You assumed I used KR. I did not say either way. In fact, I shot mostly KM but lots of KR too. I now wish I had switched to Fujichrome early on.

I am going to check back to your post and try to run a few exactly according to what you did. we will see. Later.





Aug 15, 2017 at 03:01 PM
geekcop
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · COOLSCAN V ED


I don't have any Kodachrome slides to scan but I did scan a Velvia 50 slide today using the Coolpix V, VueScan and the ColorPerfect plug-in. I did a fair amount of work on the shot in LR and the lab scratched the film badly so I had repair work to do as well. The final output is pretty good I think.

Cross-posted to the Alt Equipment thread, FYI.







Aug 15, 2017 at 08:44 PM
bs kite
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · COOLSCAN V ED


Here is the ColorPerfect response to me. I believe it is a candid and thorough response. I appreciate that. The graphs he sent do not appear. Hope you make sense of it.


Christoph Oldendorf | ColorPerfect.com <[email protected]>
11:38 AM (7 hours ago)

to me
Robert,

My question: IS KODACHROME INCLUDED WITHIN THE FILM CHOICES IN YOUR COLORPERFECT PLUGIN.

There are no built in slide films. In contrast to color negative film it is often not a goal to eliminate the film's characteristic curves in printing.

I will ask the same question in a different way. Please give me CANDID answers.

There are no CANDID answers. Many folks use CP for slides but it'll mean understanding many details and figuring out what to do.
I'll put some very non candid items in below and you can take the trial version of ColorPerfect and find out wether there is something in it for you...

Best regards
Christoph Oldendorf

-----------------------------------

With slide film there is one obvious distinction to negative film and that is the fact that in principle the slide is the intended final image. Many users create linear scans of slides and process them in ColorPerfect's ColorPos mode in some limited way they like and are very happy with the results.

There are no characterizations for slide film built into ColorPerfect. With the negative film and digital camera characterizations the same goal applies to somewhat different extents. The goal is to get a recording of a scene that is not intended as a final image but was designed to best store the scene (in order to be made into a final image later) back into a form that has color integrity. That means a state in which basic physical relations exist that allow gray clicks into the preview image and other adjustments in ColorPerfect to work beautifully. In case of digital cameras we are also able to ascertain color fidelity. In case of negative film color fidelity depends largely on the film’s specific dyes and sensitivities.
Anyway, for slide film there is a complication. If we assume that the slide is not already in the state it should be as a final image and try to approach it with the same logic we use on color negatives we’ll find a significant difference. You mentioned Kodachrome so let me show that difference using the characteristic curves of Kodachrome KR64 compared to today’s Kodak Ektar 100. In case of the latter – the negative film – we can see that while the curves for R G B are significantly apart each has a clear mostly straight line section between shoulder and tail that will record most of our scene’s relevant detail:
[]
A characterization defined by three film gammas (slope of the straight line portion of the curve) works reasonably well here when combined with ColorPerfect’s other tools.

Now the Kodachrome KR64:
[]
The three colors are much closer together – a requirement for slide film to produce a natural looking positive image – but the curve is not as good a fit for three plain Gammas. What we do see here is a plot of density versus log exposure. For log Exp it suffices to know that 0.3 is equal to 1 f-stop and for density it’s enough to know that more is darker and for the slide the film’s DMAX is dark enough to seem opaque to the eye.
Now for the slide we have different slopes in the brightest 3 f-stops than in the darker f-stops of an imagined capture and since not all slides must contain as bright areas that might as well mean that one image requires one characterization while a second image requires another. The steeper Gamma in the darker regions also somewhat serves as a substitute solution to Black Point which as such doesn’t exist in the analog realm.
A system dedicated to slide film might be possible to create but we’re less than certain if it could really work well and we did not attempt it yet.

What you should do is experiment and see what works well on a series of images. The FilmType / SubType / FilmGamma calibration system shown to the end of this video: http://www.colorperfect.com/ColorPerfect-video-tutorial/ColorNeg-and-PerfectRAW-feature-overview/ will also work on slide film in ColorPos mode but because of the situation I tried to outline above a given set of Gammas will probably not work equally well on all images from even the same film. It depends on what you are trying to do.

-----------------------------------

When processing linear scans of slides as produced by this work flow:
http://www.colorperfect.com/scanning-slides-and-negatives/scans/Hamrick-Software/VueScan/
note that ColorNeg is set to expect linear scans as input by default. The latter is set to expect Gamma encoded input. There is a little button displaying either "G" or "L" on the start panel it should show "G" in ColorPos mode. With your Velvia Scan press it so that it shows "L" for linear input before you start. Among the options (which are per mode, so ColorPos has its own) is a setting "G/L Defaults G" untick that and you'll always start with "L" as is the case for ColorNeg mode. The reason ColorPos mode expects gamma encoded images originally was so that it wouldn't give folks trouble when editing pre-existing images.

-----------------------------------

I'll also paste in an item below that might be helpful along with this resource:
http://www.colorperfect.com/working_spaces.html?lang=en

Let’s discuss a bit of analog color photography first. I hope you have seen actual quality color photographic prints somewhere - fine art ones that is, printed by someone who knew what he was doing and not your average quick lab ones. Maybe even your own or maybe you’ve been to museums during the reign of analog photography and absence of digitally aided printing techniques. Long story short: That did work out just fine. There were wonderful color photographs made in the second half of the 20th century.

Now let’s take a look at color negative film and color photographic paper. What are they, what do they do and how do they do it (simplified in places)? Let’s envision a natural scene of some kind. Countless surfaces reflecting light. Each reflecting different wavelengths to differing amounts etc. Depending on the light source - e. g. midday or late sun there will also be varying metameric effects etc.

A pretty complex system to model but film does not model it precisely (neither do digital cameras or any three primary color system). There is tremendous abstraction and that’s a good thing. Color negative film (ignoring the 4th color layer technology marketing gimmick) has three light sensitive layers. Each is sensitive to a certain range of wavelengths - or rather a combination of that and the fact that color negative film is a layered design including filter layers that make sure that certain wavelengths do not reach certain light sensitive layers. These filters are not sharp cut offs but are rather steep gradients so what we get are three spectral averages, that peak at some wavelength and more or less quickly degrade from there. They are roughly sensitive to Red, Green and Blue portions of the spectrum and are found in most film data sheets as plots so let’s see one:

[]

This is from Kodak’s Ektar 100. So, from our multifold spectral responses in the scene we get to three averages at every position the film can record.

In the chemical processing when developing the film the recorded intensity of each average controls the amount of dye deposited at that position. There are three dyes and since we are dealing with a negative they are of the secondary primary colors Cyan, Magenta and Yellow.
In a nut shell the scene gets split into three spectral averages. The three averages then get “ASSIGNED” to three secondary primaries. Of course there are further aspects to this, for instance that brightness is not being recorded linearly but at a negative Gamma significantly smaller than one (x < 1) which explains the film’s latitude and needs to be dealt with in processing by use of an inverse (1/x) positive Gamma. I don’t mean to write a solid description of the technology here I’d just like to loosely look at what’s happening with color.

So, the scene's color was assigned to CMY with some items that will be dealt with and which I’ll ignore in the following. Interesting to note is the fact that color fidelity is mostly controlled by the film. It controls what color of the scene makes it into what average and consequently gets assigned to what dye.

Then what? Printing the negative. In order to do so the three color channels in it need to be balanced so that for neutrals (grays) C=M=Y. That is where CC filters come into the picture but we’ll ignore them. Let’s just say that a suitable filter pack was dialed into our enlarger.
So, an image gets projected onto color photographic paper. The paper again has three color sensitive layers. This time they are sensitive to C M Y and in developing the print the intensities recorded by each will be “ASSIGNED” to yet another set of dyes, being the final RGB this time.

Important here is that the enlarger has little to no influence on color fidelity. Its optical qualities are important, sure but as long as it has a reasonable light source and filters all else is fine. The color photographic paper also has little influence on color fidelity. It needs to be made to suitably separate the CMY intensities that come in from projecting the film, so that they can get “ASSIGNED” to the RGB dyes as intended but the photo is in the averages. The RGB dyes themselves will of course control how the final image looks. Be that more vivid or more pastel but color fidelity is a thing of the film.

O.k. after this wide sweep can you see what I’m getting at? In contrast to many technologies devised during the onset of the digital age that just seem to ignore the most simple physics of photography - for various reasons, early stages of technology, lack of understanding etc. - with ColorPerfect we are building a complex system that uses a much simpler physical model but one that actually works and produces superior results when used right.

So, what is the scanner compared to the analog world as described above? It takes the role of the enlarger but it also represents part of the color photographic paper. The part prior to development, that is the one dealing with the separation of the CMY intensities coming in from the projection of the negative. Does the scanner have an influence on color fidelity (as long as it gives us a plain RAW recording)? No. Does the scanner even have an influence on the final colors (RGB dyes in the color photographic print)? No. Those are modeled by assigning an RGB working space that is suitable for the task. Are different scanners comparable? Yes absolutely. They might use different light sources but the fact that we are dealing with such a limited number of dyes makes the differences between those mostly equal to effects that can be dealt with by CC filters. The scanner is usually not our problem.

Now, for some films assigning Adobe RGB 1998 might work but in my experience it most often does not work all that well. That’s particularly noticeable when you do have a screen capable of displaying the full gamut of that working space. This gets us more deeply into color science and I don’t intend to go there, too now but color lore has it that Adobe RGB 1998 got the green primary by accident from NTSC (which is defined relative to illuminant C while Adobe RGB 1998 is relative to D65) and that the folks designing it “liked” the result of that and kept it. The R and B primaries are identical to those of sRGB…

Anyway, most often assigning sRGB or one of the other normally narrow standard RGB color systems which were all designed to pretty much meet the same goals as color photographic prints work better. So assigning Apple RGB or ColorMatch RGB will work the same. What to use is a matter of preference. The latter two use a Gamma of 1.8 which was not an ideal choice to begin with and the tone reproduction curve of sRGB is equally nonsensical. Still, while having 16-Bit color precision all of that is irrelevant and you can convert the final image to whatever you’d like for 8-Bit use.

One final thing I should probably point out: Can you lose any colors by assigning a standard narrow RGB system? Can any color be out of gamut due to that? No. Simply because by assigning your RGB system you are giving the metric of what fully saturated Red (255) produced by ColorPerfect should mean. The gamut problems you might fear only exist in color system conversions (from wide to narrow). If the image is not as colorful as you’d like most often ColorPerfect’s Saturation command does a better job than fussing around with assigning other primaries.

You can of course convert the almost final image from narrow RGB system to Adobe RGB 1998 or even Pro Photo RGB to be able to use Saturation to create even more colorful tones. Keep in mind though that your screen might not display them and that photographic processes out there might not print them so that should be the exception rather than the standard case.

So what you are supposed to use is a normally narrow RGB system (unless something else works for a given film), Saturation, White, Shadow compression etc. What I use a lot is the luminance mask paired with removing White as illustrated in the general ColorPerfect tutorial video I recorded a while ago.

What I’d like to give you with this write up is confidence. Many users seem to think that the color they get by assigning a standard working space is very arbitrary. It is not. It follows the intended color flow for photographic film and it works very well. The color is somewhat replaceable in this and assigning any other primaries that perceptually work better for a given artistic goal is a valid thing to do as illustrated in the text linked to in my first post here. Usually that is not necessary.
Often people will tell me that they’d like to keep the color properties of the film. Notice that you do. Using the same RGB primaries for all final images (but for differently constructed spectral averages of a given scene as provided by different types of film) is like printing different films on the same color photographic paper. That does not impact the properties of the film.

If you made it all the way down here that is not the end of it but it might be a beginning... What Scanner do you use?



Aug 15, 2017 at 11:22 PM
melcat
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · COOLSCAN V ED


bs kite wrote:
1. The test target is a moot point because it is not available. Nor is Kodachrome. I am not doing that.


It isn't "moot", but was part of my explanation of what I think VueScan is doing when you choose "Kodachrome", and how that is different from when you choose "Image". ColorPerfect also gave you a very similar explanation, in a different way. They called "color integrity" what I called "full-process accuracy" (I don't think either is an accepted technical term).

2. I did check off Kodachrome as I was setting up Vuescan.

Then you'll get what you said in your OP you didn't want.

I didn't read all of the ColorPerfect response you posted, but this paragraph leapt out:

One final thing I should probably point out: Can you lose any colors by assigning a standard narrow RGB system? Can any color be out of gamut due to that? No. Simply because by assigning your RGB system you are giving the metric of what fully saturated Red (255) produced by ColorPerfect should mean. The gamut problems you might fear only exist in color system conversions (from wide to narrow). If the image is not as colorful as you’d like most often ColorPerfect’s Saturation command does a better job than fussing around with assigning other primaries.

This appears to be pretty confused and nonsensical. For sure, Kodachrome 25's gamut exceeds sRGB, as I just verified to be the case by looking back at a couple of my old scans (which were done in ProPhoto RGB).



Aug 16, 2017 at 07:54 AM
bs kite
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · COOLSCAN V ED


I suspect (hopeful!) I am on track for a solution to all this confusion.

Will get back with more information to share with all.

Thank you for putting me onto some different ideas



Aug 16, 2017 at 09:12 AM
bs kite
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · COOLSCAN V ED


Found my copy of NikonScan

I popped it into the DVD reader/writer.

Message: "You cannot open this application because PowerPc application is no longer supported".

I googled the words "PowerPc" and then chose the following link:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203491

It is the same old story to me: Software developers do not upgrade the software to meet each new OS upgrade.

Am I missing something obvious here?

Is there a quick/simple way to open/read this disk or not?

Thank you.



Aug 17, 2017 at 12:54 PM
Peter Figen
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · COOLSCAN V ED


"I must be able to produce scans that render the colors of Kodachrome slides just as the colors were when the slides were delivered to me from the Kodak lab back in the 70's and 80's."

bs kite - The software alone cannot guarantee anything in regards to color. You need accurate input and output profiles as a starting point if you want to try and match the colors on the original. That means having a really great *scanner* profile that defines the characteristics of your scanner when it's scanning Kodachrome. As has been pointed out, Kodachrome targets are no longer made and outrageously expensive when you can find them. Plus you'd also need to have rather expensive profiling software to make a new profile anyway.

The real issue when scanning Kodachrome is that the scanners see the blacks differently that you see them looking at the film through a loupe on a light box. Most scanners - at least scanners that can actually see into the dmax of Kodachrome - tend to render blacks 15-25 points blue. That's the biggest difference. Usually all you need to do is apply a curve to the blue channel either in your scanning software or in Ps after the scan moving the dark end of the blue curve until each channel is more or less equal in pixel value. You may have to adjust the other channels as well. Seriously, I've scanned thousands of Kodachromes, 25, 64 and 200 on my drum scanners for the last twenty years and this absolutely works. And then use the basic principles of digital image color adjustments - monitor pixel values with the Info Palette, set black and white points accordingly and neutrals to neutral using Curves when and where they exist.

As far as trying to exactly match the colors on the originals - why bother. The color from Kodak was all over the map and all too often had color casts and shifts, which are still there after all these years. Kodachrome has amazing dark storage stability but would visibly fade after only a few round in the old Carousel projectors. It's much better to scan them and make them how you always wanted them to be rather than how Kodak's crappy processing made them, unless you were lucky enough to have A&I process them in Hollywood when they still had their K14 line.



Aug 17, 2017 at 06:13 PM
Peter Figen
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · COOLSCAN V ED


I'll add one thing. The real hardest thing about scanning Kodachrome is that most scanner simply cannot record the last two to three stops of shadow detail. The d-max of a properly developed Kodachrome can hit 3.8-3.9. The average E-6 film is 3.4-3.5. The average drum scanner can get down to about 3.8-3.9 with good photo multipliers, while most CCD scanners can barely crack 3.0 on a good day.


Aug 17, 2017 at 06:17 PM
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